News & Event
We are pleased to announce the first and second round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. Our efforts are designed to act swiftly, be flexible as new information emerges, and take into account the range of other supports that have come into our community from both public and private sources. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education. To date, $950,000 has been committed to the fund! This includes a $200,000 investment from the Community’s Endowment combined with generous gifts from local donors.
The first round of grant distributions, made in June, focused on the priority area of financial stability. A total of $115,000 was invested to launch the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program. This effort provides $500 emergency unrestricted cash relief to eligible local individuals who have lost their jobs or are experiencing significantly reduced hours of paid work due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the start of the pandemic, various federal stimulus bills have transferred funds to people who have lost their jobs, and to lower/middle income families in general; but there are individuals and families in our community who haven't yet received those funds, or may not be eligible to receive them. These friends and neighbors are struggling to meet their basic day-to-day needs.
CFHZ and some of our generous donors, alongside key community organizations who serve these populations, explored a variety of options to assist those who are falling through the cracks of our existing support systems. Collectively, we identified a direct-cash assistance program, partnering with a national organization called Family Independence Initiative (FII), as a key strategy to serve our vulnerable community members. We granted $100,000 to FII to establish the program, and an additional $5,000 each to our core partner agencies for administrative support to implement the program. We're delighted to share that generous local donors contributed an additional $500,000 for a total cash assistance funding pool of $600,000!
We have partnered with three local organizations who will identify those individuals who quality for the program: Community Action House, Good Samaritan Ministries, and Movement West Michigan. Each of these partners has further engaged their network of partner churches, grassroots organizations, and neighborhood community organizations to extend their reach to as many families as possible.
To be eligible for the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program, individuals must:
To date, the Direct Cash Assistance Program has directly impacted 600 individuals. We're deeply thankful to the generous local donors who have contributed towards these efforts.
Good Samaritan Ministries recently received funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to launch a six-month Eviction Diversion Program which will use a collaborative court process model, bringing together the courts, Legal Aid, mediation, tenants and landlords to provide lump sum payments to landlords in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes. The Community Stabilization Fund grant will support GSM’s efforts to scale up capacity and ensure robust program delivery and services to divert hundreds of families from potential homelessness and provide a path back towards thriving in our community.
This grant will support ODC Network’s partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and Holland/Zeeland area districts to provide schools and teachers with support, resources, and training on activating outdoor spaces and utilizing outdoor learning as a means to lower school building population density and increase social distancing while providing safe, meaningful, and engaging learning experiences for students. This effort will increase the chances of more children being able to safely attend school in person, which is beneficial for all children’s learning, but especially for those children who were already struggling in school and who likely experienced even greater learning loss due to the remote learning transition last spring followed by summer break.
Ready for School, in partnership with area schools, rapidly adapted their highly successful kindergarten readiness program to offer the four-week experience in a modified format this summer. Given the unique challenges facing this year’s incoming kindergartners and their families, this grant will support continuing the program into the fall to complement and enhance whatever format in which schools are able to provide kindergarten. How well this critical first year of school goes for these students will have a long-lasting impact on the trajectory of their learning and this investment will help ensure they have the strongest kindergarten experience possible in an inherently difficult environment.
CASA provides elementary school students who are struggling academically with a structured educational support program to achieve their learning goals. CASA pivoted quickly this summer to continue providing students robust learning opportunities in an effective and meaningful way despite new constraints. This grant will invest in the follow-up effort to re-imagine what Fall CASA programming looks like, particularly as the organization works to incorporate Hope College Education Department students who typically serve as one-on-one tutors during the school year in a new format.
This grant will allow Family Hope Foundation to expand their therapy scholarship program for Holland/Zeeland area children with special needs and learning disabilities to help them regain progress and milestones lost due to recent interruptions to schooling and support services. The program works collaboratively with a broad network of providers to find customized supports that will best serve each individual student’s needs.
We are pleased to announce the fourth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education.
This month’s funding was focused on both of our Financial Stability strategies:
In preparation for each month’s decisions, our Community Impact staff and leadership team connects with the various nonprofit organizations striving to meet the needs within the strategy we have identified that month for investment. In September, we met with 23 organizations working to keep people from slipping into poverty and providing basic needs support.
In response to all that we learned and understand about the needs right now, the Community Stabilization Fund awarded $236,000 to thirteen organizations during the fourth round of grants.
to Increase Resource Navigation, Case Management, and Community Kitchen Capacity
Amount Awarded: $75,000
Community Action House (CAH) is one of our core safety net providers working to assist people who are struggling to meet their basic needs and to help ALICE households maintain stability. CAH is currently serving nearly three times the number of people they had in the past and 30-40% of people served each week are seeking help for the first time. This funding will assist CAH in increasing resource navigation capacity through additional staff and case management tools. It also provides supplies for the Community Kitchen, operating in partnership with Western Theological Seminary, to continue serving daily meals in a take-away format as necessitated by the pandemic.
for Food Assistance, Micro-Pantry Initiative, and Freezer Capacity
Amount Awarded: $20,000
Harvest Stand Ministries, located at City on a Hill Ministries, is the Zeeland hub for basic needs assistance. This grant will support their food assistance efforts which have stepped up in response to the pandemic as well as support a new creative partnership to bring a micro-pantry model to four local churches.
for their Food Pantry
Holland Rescue Mission is our community’s only homeless shelter and serves men, women, and children. A major source of food for the meals they serve their guests, the Postal Service Food Drive, was cancelled due to the pandemic. This grant will help fill the need for food that occurred as a result of the cancellation.
for the Sack Supper Program
Kids’ Food Basket (KFB) has been adapted quickly to different food distribution processes in partnership with local schools to ensure hungry students continue to receive healthy sack suppers. Childhood hunger is an increasing concern and sack suppers are a low barrier to access way to address this. Their services are targeted to area schools with the greatest numbers of vulnerable students.
for the Housing and Empowerment Fund
Housing is essential to preventing victims of domestic violence from slipping into poverty or returning to live with an abuser. This grant will help ensure Resilience has flexible dollars to combine with other available resources to reach stable and safe housing solutions for their clients.
for the Immigrant Relief Fund for Holland/Zeeland Area residents
This grant will provide flexible funds to help meet housing and other basic needs for many of our most vulnerable community members who did not receive any federal aid.
for Remote Renewal Services
Amount Awarded: $15,000
This program ensures that individuals can remain legally eligible to work by renewing their immigration status. This is essential for these individuals and their families to maintain their household income. Lapsing in status can have negative ripple effects on the household that greatly increase the likelihood of falling into poverty.
for Rental Assistance Expansion
Salvation Army is one of the key places local residents can turn to for rental assistance and many other basic needs agencies refer clients there for this purpose. This grant will be used to provide greater flexibility and increase the dollars available for this program.
for the Weekend Meal Program
Amount Awarded: $10,000
Hand2Hand’s (H2H) model of providing backpack meals for students to take home over the weekend has been well-suited to meet the challenges of the current service environment. As childhood hunger is increasing, these direct forms of support provided through schools are more important than ever. H2H’s services are broadly available to area schools whether they have a large or small number of students in need.
for Monthly Diaper Distributions to Community Partners
Nestlings provides diapers for Community Action House, Holland Rescue Mission, Resilience, Harvest Stand Ministries, and many more. Diapers are a significant expense for struggling families with small children and in high demand at area agencies. Centralized procurement and distribution through Nestlings allows all of the partner organizations to meet this need more efficiently.
for Mobile Food Pantries coordinated with Ottawa Community Schools Network
Amount Awarded: $5,000
Mobile Food Pantries are a valuable “tool in the toolbox” for our community to meet basic needs. Ottawa Community Schools Network coordinators play a pivotal role in organizing these mobile pantries, often hosted in school parking lots or other nearby sites. While many families of students are served, these mobile pantries are also available to the surrounding community and are a low barrier way for people in need to access assistance and well suited to the service delivery constraints of the pandemic.
for Beds, Cribs, Mattresses and Bedding
Amount Awarded: $3,000
DHHS is another hub for basic needs and their staff is highly adept at piecing together supports for families in need. In particular when they are helping a household with housing, beds, cribs, mattresses, and bedding are gaps they often struggle to fill with existing community resources. This grant will provide flexible funding to help address this unmet need.
for Winterizing/Repairs in partnership with Solid Rock Ministries
These two grassroots organizations in Zeeland are working together to help people who live in substandard housing make basic improvements to ensure they can stay safe and warm in their current homes.
We are pleased to announce the third round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education. To date, grant distributions have been made for each priority area. We anticipate funding organizations working in each priority area one more time before the close of 2020.
The primary goal of this grant round was scaling up existing mental health and substance abuse providers to be able to serve more people and reach different audiences. We are fortunate that many efforts to expand mental health services were already well underway prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic and we have numerous community partners providing great services in this space. Given these factors, the Community Stabilization Fund made several investments, as compared to one or two larger investments, to scale up services with multiple nonprofit partners. We have prioritized programs with the capacity to quickly translate dollars from the Fund into increased services for community members in need. A total of $135,000 was granted to six local organizations.
This funding will assist OAR with hiring an additional Masters-level clinician, which will increase their ability to provide outpatient addiction treatment by at least 250 additional individuals over the course of a year.
This funding will support increasing the hours of HFHC’s Mental Health Program Specialist staff member, who is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and continuing additional hours for their contracted licensed counselor. Combined, this will increase both the number of clients served and types of services offered through HFHC’s mental health and substance abuse programs. HFHC will have capacity to serve approximately 30 additional new clients, a sixty percent increase from their current capacity of 50.
This funding will help COAHM Health Clinic increase hours of their current counseling staff to immediately begin serving at least 10 more individuals per week for traditional counseling. The program currently has capacity for 23 individuals at a time and COAHM staff report there is a rolling waitlist of approximately 10 people in need of counseling.
This funding will help ensure Mosaic is able to continue providing the School Outreach Program to Holland, West Ottawa, and Zeeland Public Schools students despite the uncertainty of schools’ ability to contribute financially at the same levels they have in the past for these services. The funding will also support Mosaic’s ability to roll out new virtual support services for students, teachers, and parents, many of whom are experiencing increased mental health concerns right now.
This funding will assist Boys and Girls Club (BGC) with adding two part-time Youth Service Assistants to work with the social worker on staff. The staff social worker is currently serving all three BGC sites, so this funding will allow for a dedicated staff member on-site at the southside and northside locations. The Youth Service Assistants will serve as point persons for coordinating counseling and mental health needs to make most strategic use of the social worker’s time and expertise. Combined, the three BCG locations serve nearly 1,800 children and teens, and 80% of club participants are children of color. Over 40% of club participants live in single parent households.
This funding will allow Beacon of Hope to increase hours for intake staff who field phone calls from people looking for help. Call volume has increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and connecting a potential client with a live person who can assess and triage their needs the first time they call is critical to ensuring that people receive the help they need during the window of opportunity when they are actively seeking it. Funding will also support Beacon of Hope’s counselors with additional training on best practices for telehealth counseling sessions and group therapy as they launched this option rapidly in the last few months.
We are pleased to announce the fifth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education.
This month we re-visited and and completed our final round of funding for our Education strategy.
In preparation for this month’s grant round, our community impact staff met with a number of youth serving nonprofits as well as local school districts and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD). The Community Stabilization Fund awarded $150,000 to six organizations.
to increase support for remote learners
Amount awarded: $35,000
With three sites that together serve both the Holland and West Ottawa districts, BGC reaches the greatest number of students outside of the schools themselves and serves elementary, middle, and high school students. Their staff have strong existing relationships with students and parents and close partnerships with educators in the two districts in which they work. This funding will allow BGC to add staff capacity to expand their Power Hour program, where students come every day after school to receive academic support, to include daytime hours for youth who are attending school virtually. All three locations have expanded hours for in person 1:1 or small group tutoring.
The Bridge is focused on serving Zeeland students and like BGC, has strong existing relationships with students and parents and works closely with Zeeland Public Schools. They also facilitate the alternative suspension program for Zeeland students who have been suspended or expelled. This funding will enable The Bridge to expand their Bridge to Excellence mentoring program to accommodate a larger cross section of our educational community and serve home schoolers and online learners. The Bridge will increase staffing to provide consistent mentors for students to help them attain their goals academically, behaviorally, and socially.
Escape has a track record of earning trust and building relationships with some of our community’s most vulnerable youth who are at high risk of disengaging with school entirely. Holland and West Ottawa districts partner with Escape on their alternative suspension program which provides intensive support to students who are suspended or expelled. This funding will be used to expand staff hours and hire additional staff to support their Alternative Suspension Accountability Program (ASAP) and After School Tutoring program enabling them to expand hours and serve more students.
to launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program
Amount awarded: $20,000
Another key demographic group that we heard from local educators needs targeted outreach and support are our English Language Learners (ELL students). To meet the unique needs of remote ELL students, Hope College in partnership with the OAISD will launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program for students in Holland, Zeeland, and West Ottawa school districts. The joint effort will leverage the OAISD’s ability to work with schools to identify the students in greatest need of this service and match them with a Hope College student tutor who speaks their home language. This funding will help seed the initial launch of this new innovative program.
to adapt programming to virtual format
Amount awarded: $15,000
Step Up provides 1:1 academic mentoring to local middle school students. The program provides need-based instruction in math and reading to close the achievement gap. As of fall 2020, 100% of Step Up participants are underrepresented or come from economically disadvantaged households. Step Up is pivoting to a virtual format this semester while still seeking to deliver high quality tutoring and mentoring to the 45 students they serve. This funding will support Step Up’s ability to adapt their programming for virtual delivery.
to expand programming to meet demand
Amount awarded: $10,000
In our first grant round for education, we awarded Ready for School $40,000 to expand their Start School Ready pre-kindergarten preparation programming in partnership with area schools. Their initial grant award was based on the program serving up to 80 students. Ready for School has exceeded that with over 100 students signed up to participate in the program. Ready for School has been flexible to meet the preferred program delivery methods of different districts. This additional funding will cover the increased costs of materials and staffing needed to serve 25% more students than projected at the outset.
We are pleased to announce the sixth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, mental health, and education.
This month we re-visited and completed our final round of funding for our Mental Health strategy.
In total, $62,000 was awarded to four organizations.
to expand their counseling program capacity to address the current waitlist for counseling services
Even in “normal” times with the support of the multi-disciplinary team Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) coordinates, moving a child sexual abuse case through the criminal court system is a lengthy process, taking months and sometimes years. It is often an extremely stressful experience for child victims and families and intensive support from CAC staff is critical to helping victims navigate this experience and cope with the mental health ramifications. The additional delays in this process due to courts closing because of COVID-19, and then struggling to catch up with the backlog of cases as they reopened in stages, has added even greater uncertainty to the process and lengthened the time it takes to reach resolution. This means CAC is providing a higher level of counseling care for children for a longer period of time, which is necessary and important to care for their existing clients. However, this has created capacity issues for their ability to start counseling new clients after they disclose abuse which this funding will help address.
to bring iN2L (It’s Never Too Late) programming to their assisted living residents
Amount awarded: $16,000
While extensive COVID-19 restrictions have been necessary to protect the physical health of older adults living in group settings given their high risk for severe illness, the isolation has been extremely difficult on many residents’ mental health. iN2L is an evidence-based, person-centered engagement program which uses technology to enhance social interaction and promote mental health while still following social distancing protocols. Whether communicating with family, participating in an online church service or virtual class with neighboring residents, this technology has the capacity to help reconnect older adults with a sense of community that has been very difficult to provide since March and which is critical to supporting their mental well-being.
to increase access to mental health and substance abuse services for Hispanic and Latinx community members
Amount awarded: $13,000
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted our local Hispanic community, exacerbating the severity of mental health and substance abuse needs for community members who already often face language and cultural barriers to accessing mental health and substance abuse care. Arbor Circle has recognized the importance of having bilingual and bicultural service providers as well as adapting and delivering services in culturally appropriate ways. This includes providing co-located services to reduce the stigma and barriers of accessing mental health and substance abuse services within the Latinx community and meet client needs outside traditional one-on-one sessions behind closed doors.
for mental health services and supports for Black community members
Black community members have also experienced disparate impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to increased needs for culturally competent mental health care. Ensuring that the people and organizations involved in designing and delivering services are trusted by those who are needing care is essential. Maple Avenue Ministries is a trusted institution in the Black community that continues to respond to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of Holland community members alongside their spiritual needs. This funding will help provide the capacity to offer accessible services on-site while equipping providers and the Black community with supports needed to navigate the current infrastructure of mainstream mental health and substance abuse care.
on behalf of the Ottawa County Suicide Prevention Coalition
Amount awarded: $5,000
For a county-wide mental health and suicide prevention postcard mailing.
We are pleased to share some exciting news about our Community Stabilization Fund. Recently, a select group of Herman Miller retirees approached CFHZ about providing a match to donations made to the fund up to $4,100. They also approached Herman Miller Cares who agreed to match another $5,000 in donations to the fund! Together, they will match any donations made by August 31 up to $9,100!
The idea was developed by Herman Miller retiree Joanie Reid, who said “I look at the very difficult current realities with eyes wide open, but want to avoid being immobilized by them, as I have sometimes been. We can act. We can make a difference. I know I can, and want, to do more to practice gratitude.”
Several of her fellow Herman Miller retirees joined her in matching gifts to the Community Stabilization Fund at CFHZ, including Tony Cortese, Deborah Exo, Deb Huizenga, Linda Milanowski, Jane Rohlck, Marty Ryan, Prescott Slee, Mike Swistak and Nelva Vogel. Inspired by the reaction of her peers, Joanie approached Herman Miller Cares and they enthusiastically offered to join in with another $5,000 toward the match.
Launched in May 2020, the Community Stabilization Fund is designed to set the stage for recovery from the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal for the Community Stabilization Fund is to provide a vehicle for coordinated investments in our community on behalf of our Community’s Endowment resources and the resources of local individuals, families, and companies. The fund is designed to act swiftly, be flexible as new information emerges, and be targeted in its use across the various areas of need, taking into account the range of other supports that have come from public and private sources into our community. The fund focuses on three priority areas: financial stability, health, and education.
To date, $950,000 has been raised, including $200,000 of seed funding from our Community’s Endowment. The generous matching gift offer from the select group of Herman Miller retirees and Herman Miller Cares allows us to extend our reach as we work to help our community bounce forward from the challenges of recent months. We are so grateful for their investment in this work. Thank you, Herman Miller retirees and Herman Miller Cares!
Donate here (please be sure to write “Stabilization Community Match” in the comments section)
Learn more about the Community Stabilization Fund
Learn about our first and second ground grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund
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